Bizarre Old North Korean Stamps Celebrating Regal Excess

On my way out of Deshengmen Tower — where you’ll find a strange collection of ramshackle museums crammed in together — I noticed the most remarkable thing for sale: old North Korean stamps, celebrating European regal excess!

There was the Versailles stamp, which reeks of excessive opulence…

Franz Joseph I hot on the chase…

And of course, the guru of gluttony himself, Henry VIII!

There were sheets of these Pyongyang-postmarked 1984 stamps, celebrating Wilhelm, Maria Theresa, Leopold II, and plenty of Richards and Edwards.

So why were they carried in the Ancient Coin Museum’s gift shop?

I’ll probably never know. I bet they don’t either. But such a lovely little find.

(They also, of course, reminded me of those classic 3-D Prince Charles and Lady Di stamps from North Korea.)

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